Bhubaneswar: The State Government has initiated steps to bring out an updated and dynamic Agricultural Policy in tune with the changing conditions of agriculture and agricultural market.
A high-level inter-sector meeting for the purpose was held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi wherein Principal Secretary Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Sourav Garg outlined the issues for discussion.
The Chief Secretary directed to focus on enhancing farmers’ income through appropriate production and marketing strategies. Padhi further directed to create ecosystem for flourishing of farmer producer groups and mobilizing private investment in the sector.
The departments were asked to give their inputs for further development of the draft policy within two weeks. Development Commiss-ioner Asit Kumar Tripathy added that the policy should be oriented towards crop diversification, value addition and market linkages. Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal advised to develop calamity resilient seeds and agricultural practices.
Discussion in the meeting showed public investment in agriculture has reached Rs 17,000 crore in 2018-19. The State Government has taken pioneering steps like rolling out an exclusive budget for agriculture and formation of separate Agri Cabinet. Garg said the Odisha Agricultural Policy was framed in the year, 2013. Meanwhile, six years have passed. New technologies and marketing conditions have also emerged. In view of all these, the new updated policy is being worked out.
He added that the vision of the policy is to harness agriculture potential of the State in a sustainable manner and raise farmers’ income continuously while ensuring nutritional security. Available information show the draft policy is being worked out through a wide process of consultation with experts, universities, civil society bodies and farmers’ groups. The policy recommends sector-wise interventions for overcoming the difficulties faced in the last years and maximising outcomes.